ST. PAUL - While the sun was out throughout much of the day, senior high school track and field athletes had to battle through a cool morning and some windy conditions on May 17 during the annual St. Paul Athletics Association (SPAA) meet.
When all was said and done, a long list of high school athletes had earned spots at the upcoming Northeast Alberta Schools' Athletic Association (NEASAA) competition, also set to take place in St. Paul, on May 24. The zone competition will draw in athletes from across northeastern Alberta for the one-day event.
St. Paul Regional High School athletes racked up the most points throughout the day on Wednesday, earning a total of 1,885 point - 1,133 on the boys' side and 737 on the girls' side.
Coming in second was Glendon School with 840 points, and in third place was FG Miller from Elk Point with 634 points.
A total of 12 schools from across the St. Paul Athletics Association region took part in the track and field event, with 190 athletes registered.
"The track meet went fairly smoothly after the technical difficulties we had with our finish line timing system were temporarily corrected," said Hank Smid, athletic director with St. Paul Regional High School, coach and teacher.
Despite the challenge, and the fact that a new system will have to be purchased, which will be a large capital cost for the athletic association, athletes and coaches were happy to compete throughout the day. Smoke caused by forest fires across the province had been forecasted throughout the week, causing low air quality some days, but on Wednesday the smoke mostly stayed away, which was a pleasant surprise, acknowledged Smid.
In the end, "the student-athletes gave their best as they attempted to place in the top three places for their event to advance to zones."
New records set on May 17 include:
Boys 14-16 High Jump Junior - 1.78m - Ryan Songer - St. Paul Regional
Boys 14-16 Shot Put 5 kg Junior - 12.61m - Brian Clark - St. Paul Regional
Boys 14-16 Javelin Throw 700 g Junior - 45.22m - Carsyn Milot - Two Hills
Girls 14-19 Shot Put Amb/ID 3kg AMB Open intellectual - 2.56m - Gabrielle Hebert - École Mallaig
Girls 14-19 300 Meter Hurdles 76 cm, 30" Open - 53.48 - Caitlyn Quinton - St. Paul Regional